As the fight against counterfeits gets ever more pressing – as the need to protect trademarks and intellectual property, including fashion design, gets ever more obsessive, sparked by economic fears and a sense of waning consumer confidence – law makers are getting ever more involved. Today I discovered, via Harbottle & Lewis, that the UK patent office has created a “once in a generation opportunity to reform UK design laws and make them more suitable to protect Britain’s design community.” Wow.
Who knew lawyers could get so poetic about IP protection? Not me, which is why I wanted to share the following email message, from Susan Scafidi, academic director of the Fashion Law Institute at Fordham Law School in New York. She is writing about new legislation, being discussed in the US House of Representatives, that would help to protect fashion designers from the jaw-droppingly fast ability of high street shops to pay immediate “homage” to their hit designs the day after said designs are shown on the runway/worn by an influential celeb.
For anyone interested in the progress of American IP law, I highly recommend the fashionapparellawblog, run by US law firm Sheppard Mullin, who specialise in IP rights and have become one of the luxury industry’s go-to groups of attorneys in this highly fuzzy area.